Israeli minister vows to continue ban on Jewish prayer on Temple Mount

“The Temple Mount is sacred to Jews and Muslims,” Minister Omer Bar-Lev said.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev reinforced his decision that Jews will be restricted from praying on the Temple Mount, although they will still be allowed to visit.

The minister held a meeting in his office on Sunday to discuss the conduct of Jews who went up onto the mount during the High Holiday period, Israeli media reported. At the meeting, a member of the Shin Bet – Israel General Security Service – said that he feared that if Jews openly prayed on the mount the situation could erupt into violence.

According to the status quo, established when the Jews recaptured Jerusalem in 1967, the Temple Mount is overseen by the Jordanian Waqf, while the mount’s security is managed by Israel. Jews pray at the Kotel or Western Wall. Muslims pray on the Temple Mount in various mosques.

All Israeli governments since 1967 have adhered to this status quo, which was further solidified when Israel made peace with Jordan in the 1990s.

“The Temple Mount is sacred to Jews and Muslims, hence the sensitivity and explosiveness in any deviation from the current situation,” Bar-Lev said, according to the media.

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For the past two years, since late 2019, Jews have successfully prayed quietly and relatively undisturbed on certain parts of the Temple Mount.

Earlier this month, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court made a ruling that implied support for allowing silent or quiet Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount – a ruling that was overturned a few days later after Muslims threatened violence.